The murals of the 2018 Nuart Aberdeen Street Art Festival
The second iteration of the Nuart street art festival saw 12 street artists from around the world invited into the city of Aberdeen. The festival which started in Stavanger in Norway has in recent years become one of the top festivals of its kind in the world.
The murals created have now joined the impressive body of work created as part of the 2017 version of the festival meaning that Aberdeen has suddenly found itself the proud host of some of the UK’s finest street art. So… who were the artists taking part and what did they do? Here’s our guide to the murals of the 2018 Nuart Aberdeen street art festival.
From Portugal the artist has been making waves with this 3D installation artworks depicting animals. He makes the works entirely out of discarded plastics from hoses to lids, bottles and whatever else he can get his hands on. The resultant creation is remarkable and jumps out of the wall. His piece in Aberdeen shows a unicorn with horn made of old piping, it’s a standout piece for sure.
Originally from the UK but now living in Amsterdam, Bortusk Leer has made his name painting colourful cartoon monsters onto newspaper and then pasting them up everywhere. This is pretty much what he’s done in Aberdeen and you don’t have to look far to find one of his paste ups. His main body of work though is on the top of the St. Nicholas shopping centres rooftop garden. There he’s created a massive colourful collage of old newspaper and new grinning monsters, it’s quite a sight.
We’ve blogged about Carrie already and you can read about the full extent of the works she created by clicking here. In total she created four mosaic installations for the festival, 3 focusing on inspirational women from Aberdeen and Scotland and a further community collage featuring everyday heroes from the city as chosen by people living in Aberdeen. Drawing attention to the history of the Aberdeen suffragettes, Aberdeen’s witch burning past as well as focusing on some of the inspirational women of today. The mosaics she has created are set to become must sees on any historical tour of the city.
Conzo & Globel
From Glasgow, the duo’s cheeky mural has combined two of Aberdeen’s favourite things seagulls and chips. The two work to create works which bring together the illustrative skills of Conzo with the typography of Globel. The result is a fun cartoon-esque mural which to be fair you’ve just got to see.
Known for his subvertising Dr. D goes around the city creating signs and posters which look like they belong but actually don’t. For many, people will just pass by not realised that the sign they’ve past by is not actually the real thing and instead is a parody. As part of his official piece in the festival he created a couple of subverts in a car park near the Union Square shopping centre. Elsewhere his signs and posters were placed all around the streets of Aberdeen alongside hidden ‘weapons of mass destruction’ which had a reward attached to them if found.
By all accounts an old stencil of a bagpipe player from Scottish artist Elki originally painted in 2005 is the oldest recognised piece of street art in the city. It’s faded now but still an impressive claim to fame and probably the reason why his latest piece has been created bang next to it. A 30 layer stencil featuring a set of headphones sitting on a mixing desk it’s an incredibly detailed work that took over 120 hours to produce prior to placing it up onto the wall.
From Lithuania Ernest’s wall is huge and features a young boy clambering up the side of an office block where a couple of giant seagulls are also perched. One of the seagulls has also taken a giant crap down the side of the building replicating the reality of the city’s relationship with them. This is the biggest wall so far in the city at least in terms of height.
Hidden in the area known as the tunnels, Argentina’s Hyuro piece featuring two squabbling boys is high on the wall of a bridgehead overlooking them. The boys are joined together and wearing the same shirt so as they fight they are still stuck inside the same clothes. It’s meant to represent the relationship between England and Scotland, stuck together but forever arguing.
Another Argentinian artist, Milu Correch has created two dark murals in thc city. The first features two masked women resting back to back seemingly sleeping and possibly drunk with a bottle by their side. The second one meanwhile features another two women kneeling and naked with a single blanket covered both their heads. One of the women in the second image also cradles a boat.
Nimi & RH74
A giant collaboration between Norwegian based artists Nimi and RH74, they are based in Bergen and Stavanger respectively. Featuring a girl sitting in a field of flowers she is looking outwards whilst holding a castle in her arms. The piece is supposedly inspired by the ghostly legend of the ‘Green Lady‘ of Crathes Castle which is nearby. The green lady, apparently being the apparition of a servant girl who fell pregnant and who later disappeared.
Phlegm’s giant black and white illustration based murals are each just one further part of the ongoing world he has created. Taking inspiration from the granite which the city is known for, his mural shows a number of workers chiseling away at the stone whilst sitting amidst a quarry of giant stone pillars. The work took on quite an evolution, originally framed with a black border, the artist was unhappy with the way it looked and so returned in order to remove the border and blend the mural more into the structure of the building.
Known for their large scale stencil artworks, the English duo have created another spectacular piece. Featuring the image of a woman being pulled up in the air by a bluetit it is as if the woman has been tethered to some invisible post and the birds are pulling her free. As ever with Snik the detail in the stencil is incredibly fine and that alone took three weeks to produce prior it being placed on the wall and then hand finished in situ.
The Nuart Aberdeen street art festival was visited between 11-15 April and all pictures were taken then. Many thanks also to our travelling companion the wonderful Blocal Blog who is just a wealth of knowledge about all things street art. To learn more about the street art of Aberdeen have a look here.